Published: 12:44, 13 October 2021
| Updated: 12:46, 13 October 2021
Tributes have been paid to a councillor who has died after a long illness.
Labour’s Nick Bowler had been involving in local politics for two decades and had represented Rochester East since 2003.
The 59-year-old, who lived in the town’s Thomas Street, also served as mayor and deputy mayor during his civic career. He worked at Kings School.
Paying tribute, deputy Labour leader Cllr Teresa Murray said: “I will miss Nick hugely. In more than 20 years of working together we never had a cross word. We shared passion for our politics and a great sense of wanting to make life better for those we represented.
“Nick was family to me. He tried so hard to get well because he loved life and still had loads of plans.
“Lung fibrosis is a cruel and little known disease but Nick faced up to it with great courage and determination, continuing his ward work and responding to constituents.
“He much appreciated care and kindness from Medway hospital staff in his last weeks and received many messages of love and support.
“His partner Sandra is well supported by their daughter Nissa and will announce funeral arrangements in due course.
“Tears and tributes are pouring in and we thank everyone for their thoughtfulness.”
Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple said: “Nick was a very hard-working, dedicated councillor representing Rochester East for two decades alongside Teresa.
“He was a fantastic mayor as well as taking on important roles as Labour group chairman and other party roles for Rochester and Strood Labour.
“His passion and dedication for planning was remarkable and Nick was liked and respected on all sides within the council chamber.
“I personally will miss Nick immensely from our group meetings as well as enjoying live music and the Arsenal with him, two of his passions outside the world of politics.
“My thoughts and deepest condolences are with his partner Sandra, his family, friends and all those who were lucky enough to know Nick.”
Council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) said: “Nick was a hard-working councillor who was a passionate advocate for the community.
"He will be dearly missed by all of his colleagues at Medway Council as well as the residents he represented. I would like to express my condolences to Nick’s partner, family and friends.”
Chief executive Neil Davies said: “I was saddened to hear of his death. He was a devoted councillor who was proud to represent Rochester East. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his partner, family and friends at this most difficult time.”
Cllr Bowler served on the council continuously from 2000 – firstly in Troy Town from 2000-2003, then, following ward boundary changes, he represented Rochester East from 2003 to 2021.
He also served on Rochester Upon Medway City Council during 1997-1998 and acted as Mayor of Medway during 2003-2004 then as deputy mayor during 2007-2008.
He's sat on the planning committee for 21 years, as well as on a number of other committees.